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28/09/09
PRESS RELEASE

DON KYATT: TAMING THE TERRAIN

The Don Kyatt Group celebrates 40 years of existence this November – an existence which has been built on the foundations of genuine people offering quality products and good customer service.

Don Kyatt Spare Parts branches are based in each major Australian city, Fiji and New Zealand and the company also owns the Terrain Tamer 4WD brand and the Flashlube fuel additive range.

Don Kyatt Group Marketing Manager, Brent Hutchinson, said Don Kyatt, who has since died, and Frank Hutchinson, who is the company’s Managing Director, began selling automotive parts in Moorabbin, Victoria.

“They started off with Bedford truck parts because Don knew a lot of the truck drivers by name and it began from there,” Mr Hutchinson said.

“They chose the name Don Kyatt because it was recognized in that industry, and then over time it grew into 4WD and now 4WD is the majority of our business.”

Although the company stocks 4WD accessories, its core business is 4WD parts including steering, suspension, transmission, driveline, engine and cooling.

Don Kyatt stock more than 40,000 parts, which Mr Hutchinson said went a long way with the company’s long history, to instil trust in its customers.

“We’re finding in the current economic times that people want something that’s reliable where the price is reasonable and the staff has expertise,” he said.

Many of the Terrain Tamer parts including the coil springs, hoses, belts and snatch straps are manufactured in Australia and those parts that are made overseas are manufactured to the company’s stringent quality standards.

“There’s a lot of products that are manufactured here in Australia and when we can we do but where we’ve gone overseas we have never compromised on quality,” Mr Hutchinson said.

“Many of the best products are manufactured either in Japan or sometimes South America so we work closely with them but to our specifications.

“Sometimes we may have a product we will bring in under a white box and we work with the mining industry to develop it or make sure it’s of the highest spec and then 12 or 18 month later we’ll brand it in the Terrain Tamer brand once we’re comfortable it is of that highest quality.

“The slogan for Terrain Tamer is “When Quality Counts” so once it hits a Terrain Tamer box our customers know that’s of the highest quality; it’s our differentiation in the market.

The agricultural and mining industries are a large part of the Terrain Tamer customer base, and even play a major part in developing Terrain Tamer’s products – meaning those who enjoy off-roading are buying a product which will last the distance.

Mr Hutchinson said developing the Terrain Tamer brand was the best business decision the company had made over its four decades of existence.

“That’s our weapon against that difference in quality so when something has the Terrain Tamer brand on it, it’s been through our rigorous testing,” he said.

“So we can stamp our seal of approval, our warranties and our confidence.  With this stamp our customers return to us and they trust us.”

Substandard service is certainly not something you will find at Don Kyatt Spare Parts.

“The most important thing for us is your customers,” Mr. Hutchinson said.

“We had customers that came and visited us with old Bedford truck parts in 1975 and they still walk in here and that’s very important to us; to hold a customer for life is what we’re about.

“Our population is too small to advertise heavily and then deliver less than what we’ve promised so we always try to underpromise and overdeliver.

“it’s important that our customer service is very strong, that our pricing is always fair and reasonable but then to also give the backup support to those customers.”

Besides being Don Kyatt customers, these people are often the Terrain Tamer representative by default in regional areas and the company understands this by offering that support.

“If we can grow and support them then they’ll keep coming back to us,” Mr. Hutchinson said.

“And we work with them on developing products as well so those relationships we’ve formed over the last 40 years; hopefully we’ll have over the next 40 years.”

Mr. Hutchinson said marketing measures implemented before the economic downturn has made a huge impact in safeguarding the company through this difficult time.

“This recession has been different for us,” he said.

“Leading up to it we spent more on advertising and marketing and so we’re quite well grounded.”

The promotion of the Terrain Tamer range has actually held us in good stead through these times so we’re not noticing the impact like we did in the last recession as a company.”

Mr. Hutchinson said the biggest future challenge will be battling against cheap import products.

“Our business is designed on quality and so the difference between a quality aftermarket product and a cheap aftermarket product can often be the difference between being bought from China or bring bought from Japan,” he said.

 

 

“But often that’s harder to see by the customer and so that confidence in the quality of the product is very, very important.”

“For instance if someone brings in a shipment of poor quality disc rotors and dumps them into the market, and several fail then it impacts the aftermarket industry, not just that distributor.

“It also brings down the price so then our customers say ‘oh well I can buy that from another manufacturer a lot cheaper than I can from you’ hence the need for us to know and explain the difference in quality.

“The importation of cheaper, lesser quality products does affect the industry as a whole.”

Mr. Hutchinson said the competitive advantage Don Kyatt had over other companies was the knowledge it had developed over its 40-year history.

“It’s taken us 40 years to learn, develop parts, work with our customers, modify parts and grow as a company and also hold huge amounts of stock,” he explained.

“We’ll grow stronger over time but a lot of the ingredients to our development have come as long term steady growth over 40 years.

“It’s not like we’ve spiked again, it’s just been strong, steady growth.”

“Every year we’ve grown as a business and this year won’t be any different but it’s done through a lot of hard work with our customers and providing good customer service.”

About 110 staff work at Don Kyatt and around 20 of those have been with the company for at least two decades.

“Our General Manager, National Warehouse Manager, National Parts Manager and many of our branch managers have been with us for over 20 years so those guys have learnt the industry with us, grown in the industry with us, developed many parts with us over time and know that customers by name for many years.  That retention of staff, if you want to put it in a business term, is very important to us,” Mr. Hutchinson said.

“These guys aren’t making decisions based on hunches, they’re making decisions based on experience.”

Lastly, Don Kyatt takes being part of the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) very seriously.

“It’s one of the few ways we are able to talk directly to the industry and have them talk to us,” Mr. Hutchinson said.

“We find the aftermarket industry is very different to other industries.”

“It’s very long term; you tend to find people are in the aftermarket industry for a career, they don’t just jump from the Australian automotive aftermarket to another industry.”

“If we were to do a radio ad, the majority of our advertising budget would be wasted on people that aren’t fitters of aftermarket products.”

Mr. Hutchinson said the AAAA helped build relationships within the aftermarket industry.

“The AAAA is one of the few days we can both talk to the aftermarket industry and the players in there and then learn as much about what’s happening.

“Each time after we get our magazine or go to an expo, we learn just as much as we advertise,” he said.

For more information visit www.donkyatt.com.au

Don Kyatt News Archive

date published newsletter name
link
21/08/2011 Straight talk from the engine whisperer
22/06/2010 SNOWY MOUNTAIN HIGH
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22/06/2010 DON KYATT'S PROFILE IN UNDERCAR REVIEW MAG
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28/09/09 DON KYATT: TAMING THE TERRAIN
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09/09 QUALITY 4WD PARTS ARE FORMULA FOR GROWTH
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08/09 TERRAIN TAMER......................MORE THAN YOU MAY THINK
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29/05/09 TERRAIN TAMER SALUTES A LEGEND
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24/02/09 NEW TRUCK FILTER CATALOGUE
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08/01/09 NEW TERRAIN TAMER 'SERIES 3' COMPRESSOR
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28/3/08 TERRAIN TAMER STRAP IN THE EXPERIENCE
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25/08/08 TERRAIN TAMER FILTERS TRAVEL IN PACKS
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28/3/08 SUSPENSION TO TAME ANY TERRAIN
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18/12/07 TERRAIN TAMER ANSWER THE CALL WITH 4WD FILTERS
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July 2007 DON KYATT SPARE PARTS STEPS FORWARD WITH NEW IMAGE
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